Dog chat: Guilfoyle's Opinion is well worth considering
On top of the bulging Open race schedule at the moment, another top competition joins the greyhound menu this week with the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch due to start at Mullingar on Saturday.
The 600-yard classic is for 48 dogs and should reach that figure by the noon closing stage today. The draw is due to be made by Gain's Willie Rigney at 4.0.
Leading the entry is Pat Guilfoyle's reigning champion Definate Opinion, and he will be a strong fancy to complete the double.
But the quality of the entry is top class and among his rivals will be Kingo, De Ex Factor, last year's finalists Full Of Beans and Pachacuti, Dirty Old Town, Kanasef, Ballycanal Champ, Bog Road Joe, Typical Toast, Croom Star, Croom Upper, Wise Signal and English challenger He Went Whoosh, which will be kennelled with Graham Holland for the duration of the competition.
The complexion of the Tote Gold Cup at Shelbourne changed dramatically on Saturday with the elimination of a number of the leading fancies.
Looking at the semi-finals, you would fancy Ballymac Tipp and Judicial Academy in the opening heat, though if Cians Fantasy can repeat that explosive start of Saturday last he will take some beating.
The other semi sees Joey Jojo Junior again ideally housed on the inside, but there is huge early speed in this one with Quick Lee, Slippery Bob, Cian Abbey, Jonny Whitesox and Fatboyz Tyson in opposition. Fatboyz is coming back to his best form with each run and could be the one.
Also on Saturday night, the quarter-finals of the Roches Feeds Oaks will be run at Limerick and the second round of the Kudos Supersprint at Curraheen Park; on Friday night the second round heats of the Gallivan-Murphy-Hooper Dolan Juvenile Classic will be staged at Tralee.
That great tracker Ardkill Jamie, winner of the Easter Cup, Ladbrokes 600 and favourite for the Irish Derby, disappeared from the kennels of Kieran Mangan in Grange, Edenderry recently and is still missing.
A number of greyhounds have apparently been stolen in recent times in the general vicinity and if anybody has any idea of where this lovely tracker is located they should ring Kieran on 086 257 3320.